Irish start for Tour de France: Cycling
Thursday 03 April 1997
International contestants will begin the race on the weekend of 12 July, later than usual to avoid clashing with football's World Cup finals, being staged in France in 1998.
The decision to start the 1998 Tour de France in the Republic follows years of lobbying by the Dublin government and sports fans in Ireland. Campaigning for the development dates back to the 1987 Tour de France victory of the Irish rider Stephen Roche, and the international success around the same period of his compatriot Sean Kelly.
Kelly, the 1988 Tour of Spain winner and world champion, said: "This is a wonderful achievement. It's the first time the start of the race has been off the European mainland. It is unbelievable to think they have got it over here. As a sports event the Tour is huge, and has to be seen to be believed."
Details of the Irish dimension, including the route through the country, have still to be disclosed. But the race is expected to make its exit from Ireland through Cork, which has a direct ferry link with the with French ports of Cherbourg and Le Havre.
Unfortunately for the Irish, and despite the previous world-ranking performances of Roche and Kelly, no cyclist from Ireland is likely to feature in the Tour.
Kelly added: "It would have been great for it to come here when Stephen and I were competing, but that just did not happen. It is surprising we have not got anybody competing at Tour de France level at the moment.
"It will be a huge task for Ireland to stage it."
Latest in Sport
QPR vs Arsenal match report: Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez on the scoresheet for the Gunners
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Newcastle vs Manchester United match report: Ashley Young scores late winner as Angel Di Maria fails to shine yet again
Brooklyn Beckham to be released: Why Arsenal could regret letting David Beckham's son depart
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£14400 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a multi-d...
£34000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of Energy Consult...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: FIRST CLASS FIRM - A very exciting opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A leading Leicestershire based chilled food ma...